YOURS TRULY are:
Mikaila Delgado | Teddie Winder-Haron | Lachlan Cronin | Bradley Cronan
“There’s this unspoken rule that bands shouldn’t change too much between releases,” starts Mikaila Delgado. “Fuck that. People grow up and you should be able to do that musically as well.”
The vocalist first formed Yours Truly in 2016 while she was still in high school and in the years since, the Sydney four-piece have made a name for themselves as an empathetic force in the world of pop-punk.
Originally inspired by You Me At Six, Tonight Alive, Against The Current, Paramore and State Champs, Yours Truly (Teddie Winder-Haron, Lachlan Cronin, Brad Cronan and Delgado) wanted to do things properly after a variety of schoolyard bands had fallen apart as quickly as they’d began. Debut single ‘Winter’ came in 2017, their first EP ‘Afterglow’ followed in in 2019 along with a fearsome reputation as a live band. Brilliant debut album ‘Self Care’ was released in 2020.
Today, Delgado calls it “the pop punk record we needed to make.” She’s quick to point out she wouldn’t change a single thing about it but admits “we were very close minded. Sure, we experimented in the studio but we set out to make a pop punk record just like our heroes had before us.” And that’s exactly what they did, speaking about teenage angst, disintegrating relationships and rampant anxiety with a scrappy sense of optimism over buoyant electric guitars.
“Self Care is undoubtedly the best version of a Yours Truly pop punk album that we’re ever going to make,” she continues. “And since we never want to do the same thing twice, it’s time for us to evolve.”
New EP ‘is this what i look like?’ marks the start of that new chapter. Inspired by the music they listen to now (Bring Me The Horizon, The 1975, Bloc Party and Head Automatica) rather than what they grew up on, the seven tracks see the band scatter in every direction. There’s the electro-thrash of ‘Lights On’, the aching alt-rock swagger of ‘Walk Over My Grave’ and the fearless pop stomp of ‘If You’re Drowning (I’ll Learn How To Hold My Breath)’. No matter the direction, though, Yours Truly refuse to hold anything back.
Thing is, ‘is this what i look like?’ was never meant to be a bold step forward for the group. Originally planned as a three-track companion to ‘Self-Care’ called ‘Self-Sabotage’, the EP was meant to tackle something other than the “sunshine and butterflies” of their debut. “We spent that whole album telling people everything was going to be alright but the world had clearly taken a turn. Over the past few years, self care has been incredibly difficult,” explains Delgado. “We wanted to explore that.”
‘Is this what i look like?’ stays true to that goal but once they got into the studio with their “anything goes” attitude, they realised these songs “felt like a different universe entirely.” Rather than running scared or trying to dial it back, the band decided to make themselves at home.
It’s a bold move for a band who, in it for the long haul, wanted to just gradually push things forward on every record. However two years without touring and without being able to get in the practice space together has changed that patient mindset. “Now we just want to write the songs we want to write. Let’s not be afraid. Let’s just be the best band we possibly can.”
While Self Care was inspired by conversations between all four members of the band about their mental health, ‘is this what i look like?’ saw Delgado isolated, alone and uncertain about her place in the world. “My entire adult life has been Yours Truly. With that taken away, I was in a bad place. Not being able to perform was depressing,” she explains. She poured that into her writing. Brutal, raw and revealing “all the songs are about coming to terms with who you are and who you want to be.”
Yours Truly have always been a band to champion honesty but this EP takes it even further. “I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’ve always been open with things like my health and what I’ve gone through, but I was very aware we live in a world where people use social media to show off idealised versions of their lives. We never want to pretend everything is perfect. This is my dirty laundry,” says Delgado. “It’s me saying I’m an anxious mess, I don’t know who I am but I’m trying to figure it out.”
That writing was also inspired by adventure video games like ‘Life Is Strange’, ‘Detroit: Become Human’ and ’Cloudpunk’ – “games about figuring out your true self by going through life’s hurdles,” she explains. “I have no answers either. This EP is just what I'm going through.”
The rumbling arena rock of ‘Bruises’ is all about self-sabotage while the emo snarl of ‘Careless Kind’ sees Delgado hitting back at someone who suggested she should be more carefree. Easier said than done when you suffer with health, social and depressive anxiety.
Elsewhere Hallucinate “compares an anxiety attack to being on drugs – something I wouldn’t actually know about because I’m too anxious to try drugs.” It features You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi and verbalises feeling overwhelmed and what it’s like to lose control. 'Lights On' is about “challenging the way you view yourself and how much that is influenced by other people”.
Switching things up, the tender ‘If You’re Drowning (I’ll Learn How To Hold My Breath)’ is about “caring so much for someone, you would literally do anything for them “ while ‘Walk Over My Grave’ is about loss. “Someone once told me that when you shiver, someone is walking over your grave. I lost them but I still think about them every time I shiver. I wonder if I’ve had that impact on anyone,” she asks. The reaction to the songs already released from the EP should answer that.
“It’s called ‘is this what i look like?’ because after making it, I have a better understanding of myself,” explains Delgado before admitting it’s “still a work in progress. Being honest in lyrics is a huge source of therapy for me though. If something is bothering me, writing about it usually makes me feel better.” She’s got no fear about sharing those very personal self-reflections with the world either. “I don’t mind people hearing my deepest, darkest secrets if there’s a chance it makes them feel less alone. I hope it’s relatable,” she continues. “I hope people see themselves in these songs.”
From working with their childhood heroes, through the vulnerability of Delgado’s lyrics to the musical evolution on each and every track, ‘is this what i look like?’ is an incredibly ambitious record. They plan to carry that into their live shows as well.
“There’s just a new confidence within the band,” explains Delgado. “This EP has opened a door where it feels like we can now go anywhere and do anything. We just feel inspired and we want to keep going. What’s the point in waiting?”
YOURS TRULEY are: